28 March 2006
SETI League
PriUPS Project



Today, another contribution from CATWOKE*

There are STOP signs, and then there are STOP signs.  At some STOP signs, you slow down, casually look around, and continue on your way, make your turn, or whatever.  At other STOP signs, you really, truly, come to a complete stop, shove your face as far forward as you can, carefully look in all directions, and then proceed when the whizzing column of death leaves you a sufficient space.  All drivers know this, all cops know this, and experienced drivers on familiar routes cope with it with few repercussions and almost no bodywork.  This semiotic dissonance is caused, in my humble opinion, by the limited repertoire of signs bequeathed to our road regulators. 

Of course I have a solution.

The YOP Sign

The YOP sign

The less-common situation, where your vision is clear to right but somewhat limited to the left.  You can see there's nobody on your right, and nobody close enough to affect you on the left while you go through the intersection, so just keep going to make your left turn.

The STOLD Sign

The STOLD Sign 

The more common, case, where it's clear that you can make a right turn, but you really want to think a bit before dashing out across two directions of traffic.  Yield to make a right, STOP before making a left.

The benefit of this new signage is obvious!  Drivers unfamiliar with the area will have better cues, and there will be less wasted energy since less stopping will be necessary.  And of course, the remaining STOP signs, for which there frequently is justification, will really mean STOP, to the enhancement of safety and increment of law enforcement coffers.

I don't think I'll try to patent this one.

Follow-up  16 March 2010

The "Take Turns" sign and associated video.  Similar idea, much better production values.  Gary Lauder at the TED show.

*Citizens Against the Waste of Kinetic Energy

Richard Factor